Lewis-Charp, H., Soukamneuth, S. & Goger, A.(2005). Youth Opportunity Grant Initiative: Ethnographic evaluation final report. Houston, TX: Decision Information Resources, Inc.
- The study aimed to understand the characteristics of communities participating in the Youth Opportunity (YO) grant initiative. It also sought to examine perceptions of whether the YO program had been implemented well and had enhanced the communities.
- Funded by the U.S. Department of Labor in 2000, the YO initiative looked to transform distressed neighborhoods by engaging youth in positive and productive activities and relationships. Programs were to provide education, employment, support, and leadership development services to youth ages 14 to 21 in high-poverty urban, rural, and Native American communities.
- The authors performed an ethnographic analysis based on site profiles for 35 YO communites. They also used U.S. Census data to further understand the characteristics of the communities.
- The authors described the social and economic trends of the 35 sites at length, focusing on the persistent and systemic obstacles facing the communities, including population decline, housing stress, and high rates of teen pregnancy. Participating communities had high rates of poverty and few quality jobs available.
- The authors did not find a consensus about how well the YO initiative had been implemented in the communities. However, most community members, including participating youth, did strongly agree that YO programming benefited youth.
Youth Opportunity Grant Initiative
Reviewed by CLEAR